Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, barriers to vaccination uptake are heterogeneous and vary according to the local context. We argue that a more systematic consideration of local social and behavioural mechanisms could improve the development, assessment and refinement of vaccination uptake interventions. The EBM+ approach to evidence appraisal, which is a development of a recent line of work on the epistemology of causality, provides a means to evaluate mechanistic studies and their role in assessing the effectiveness of an intervention. We argue that an EBM+ methodology offers several potential benefits for research on vaccination uptake interventions. It also motivates the use of detailed mechanistic models, rather than the high-level logic models used by process evaluations, for example.

Immunisation is an integral part of global healthcare provision. It has helped to drive a massive reduction in worldwide annual child (under the age of 5) mortality, from 9.6 million in 2000 to 5.4 million in 2017 (WHO 2013; UNICEF 2018). It is estimated that annual deaths from just 5 vaccine-preventable diseases (diphtheria, measles, neonatal tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis) have dropped by 0.5 million a year since 2010. Vaccination coverage is one way of continuing to progress these achievements. There are licensed vaccines for 27 diseases, and to be licensed requires demonstration of efficacy. But…


  Click here to download full article